Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Meta seeks law that lets parents approve their teens’ app downloads

Meta (formerly Facebook) has called for a law that would require app stores to get parental approval when their teens under 16 downloads an app.

“Parents should approve their teen’s app downloads, and we support federal legislation that requires app stores to get parents’ approval whenever their teens under 16 download apps,” Meta’s global head of Safety, Antigone Davis, said in a blogpost on Wednesday.

Meta based its reasoning on a recent Pew research, which found that 81 per cent of US adults supported requiring parental consent for teens to create social media accounts.

Davis explained with this solution, when a teen wants to download an app, the app stores would be required to notify their parents, much like when parents are notified if their teen attempts to make a purchase.

“Parents can decide if they want to approve the download. They can also verify the age of their teen when setting up their phone, negating the need for everyone to verify their age multiple times across multiple apps,” she said.

The post comes as the company faces a slew of lawsuits over its handling of child and teen use. A whopping 42 US states sued Meta last month over claims Facebook and Instagram “profoundly altered the psychological and social realities of a generation of young Americans”.

The court order addresses the individual suits and “over 140 actions” taken against the companies.

Meanwhile, a federal court in the US has rejected social media giants’ motion to dismiss dozens of lawsuits, accusing them of running platforms “addictive” to kids and allegedly spreading child sex abuse materials.

US District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers has rejected their motion, saying that Meta, ByteDance, Alphabet (Google’s parent company), and Snap (Snapchat’s parent company) must proceed with a lawsuit alleging their social platforms have adverse mental health effects on children.

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